Ahmed Muhamed Dore is a simple 112 year old Somali man who recently married his teenage sweetheart. Which would be a sweet story except the girl is an actual teenager, 17 to be exact. In Ahmed’s defense, he told The Guardian, “I didn’t force her, but used my experience to convince her of my love, and then we agreed to marry.” I guess it’s hard to argue with 112 years of experience. The bride, one Safia Abdulleh, had this to say about her new beau, “They told me he had a television.” The new brides family has expressed happiness over the union. As have Ahmed’s other two wives and 114 children and grandchildren.
Now, the reactions among my friends and family upon hearing this story have been mixed, ranging anywhere from physically ill to a kind of Scanners thing. But to all the naysayers out there I say no, the shear ickyness of this union is not what should be focused on here. This old man, in the face of genocide, famine, natural disaster, AIDS and the UN kept a dream alive for probably a hundred years, who knows. Ahmed’s is a story of triumph over adversity. To illustrate my point I’ve made a list of pro’s and cons.
1. He’ll be dead soon.
2. Instant family.
3. He can feed you.
4. He can impart upon you vast amounts of wisdom about goats.
1. He wants children.
2. He’s wrinkly.
3. Babysitting the grand kids.
4. See #1.
So as you can see, the pros and cons are about even. And all things being equal I’m inclined to give Ahmed the benefit of the doubt on this one. Because he kept his dream, albeit a sick and twisted one, alive for a really long time. And it’s inspiring in a gross, uncomfortable sort of way.